Fans of RiffTrax and “Mystery Science Theater 3000” in the Hanover area gathered to watch an encore “double feature” of two popular RiffTrax events.
“RiffTrax Live: Holiday Double Feature” (Showcased at the R/C Hanover Movies 16 in Hanover, Pennsylvania)
About 10 audience members (including the writer of “Silver Screen Reflections”) attended the RiffTrax Holiday Double Feature, presented by RiffTrax in conjunction with Fathom Events on the evening of Thu., Dec. 1 at the R/C Hanover Movies 16 multiplex (a sister cinema venue to the Gateway Gettysburg cinema, which also showcased the RiffTrax/Fathom screening).
The First Offering: “Santa Claus Conquers The Martians” (1964, riffed by the RiffTrax crew in 2013)
The first offering in the RiffTrax Holiday Double Feature was an encore presentation of the RiffTrax crew’s 2013 riff of Nicholas Webster’s 1964 Z-budget film (a “golden turkey” favorite of all MSTies), “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” (featuring Pia Zadora as the martian Girmar, Bill McCutcheon as Dropo, Ned Wertimer as news reporter Andy Henderson and John Call as Santa Claus).
Before the riffing of “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians,” MST3K alums Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett riffed a low-budget holiday kiddie short from the early 1950s, “Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen.”
Produced by industrial and educational filmmaker Sid Davis, this was different than Davis’ usual lineup of low-budget industrial and educational films (usually dealing with highway safety). Davis’ “Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen” was a hilariously dismal rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.”
Introduced by a magic pixie character named “Snoopy*” (played by Rochelle Stanton), the Sid Davis short could have been the inspiration for another infamous cheesy educational short subject that was mocked on MST3K (during a showing of “War of the Colossal Beast” on Nov. 30, 1991), “Mr. B. Natural” (produced in 1957 for Conn musical instruments by Kling Productions, featuring Betty Luster in a similar magic pixie role- “Mr. B. Natural” can now be seen on Shout! Factory TV as part of an online collection of MST3K shorts).
The Second Offering (after the intermission): More Shorts! “RiffTrax Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza” (2009, with a cavalcade of Castle shorts- No pun intended)
After the intermission, audiences were treated to an encore of the RiffTrax crew’s 2009 live performance, “RiffTrax Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza,” featuring special guest “Weird Al” Yankovic hilariously mocking a 1939 musical short on New England pork, “Three Magic Words.” The short was directed by Al Christie, a veteran film producer who produced short comedic films, dating back to the silent era. It was produced by another industrial/educational film company, Wilding Picture Productions.
Mike, Kevin and Bill also riffed several other unusual shorts (mostly from Castle Films), including “A Christmas Dream,” the hilariously cheesy Clem Williams short “A Visit To Santa Claus.” a rendition of “Parade of Aquatic Champions” (one of the most popular RiffTrax shorts), the 1948 Max Fleischer animated rendition of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (for Jam Handy) and an Encyclopaedia Britannica short, “A Christmas Rhapsody-” just to name a few.
An evening of hilarity and cheesy holiday films (and shorts) that was enjoyed by all
The “RiffTrax Holiday Special Double Feature” was an enjoyable (and hilarious) experience, along with new holiday photo wraparounds (of photos sent in by RiffTrax fans from coast-to-coast) hosted by Mike, Kevin and Bill. Attendees of the special presentation were also treated to the iconic pre-show trivia slides, along with an exclusive offer for a digital holiday package full of RiffTrax goodies!
With the fine art of riffing by the RiffTrax crew and special guest “Weird Al” Yankovic (during the 2009 shorts-stravangaza with creepy Z-budget cinematic Santas), the double-feature holiday presentation was an enjoyable experience that was enjoyed by all! The “RiffTrax Holiday Special Double Feature” was the perfect escape (before the stress of final exams/final projects week)!
RiffTrax Live: “Santa Claus Conquers The Martians” (2013) and RiffTrax Live: “Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza” (2009), available on digital download and DVD (the RiffTrax Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza is also available on Blu-Ray, direct from RiffTrax)!